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Sep 23, 2019 @ 04:09 by Dr. Mei Wang

Fintech in China and the West: different stages of fintech maturity

Fintechs can make our life much easier. Chinese consumers have benefited from this. Can Fintech disrupt EU financial market? Will the German consumers accept it?


While one of my prior articles examined the progress of mobile payment methods and their importance this article will give insights in larger scale financial technologies. Fintech not only has large impact on individual persons like you and me, more importantly it continues to revolutionize and impact the whole financial industry as well as large enterprises.

First of all: Four key factors are driving fintech innovation in the global financial services industry:

1. Consumer behavior and expectations in regard to financial services have changed.

2. AI, cloud computing and big data have created an affordable infrastructure.

3. New currencies and credit systems have impacted investment and banking.

4. Due to mobile phone and other access methods, the barriers to entry in the financial services industry are being reduced.

However, many companies and financial players remain far from the full range of opportunities offered by Big Data and artificial intelligence. Security always remained a big problem in the background that casts shadow on the variety of opportunities.

The issue of security is usually very high on the agenda in Germany - as the case with payment: Nearly half of all persons use cash; cards and digital devices are often considered unsecure. In spite of this fact, the trend towards contactless payment is growing by the day. Nearly a third of Germans use modern solutions, last year it was 20%. Globally, there is a world of difference. In Scandinavian countries, some shops no longer accept cash. While in Germany people remain skeptical, Sweden has already announced its own digital currency. It’s also not a rarity for bus and train tickets to be only available for purchase using digital means. Mobile payment is garnering an increasing amount of popularity thanks in large part to a functioning mobile network. The extensive user base in the US and in China could further drive the trend in the coming years.

By now, China is absolutely dominating the global fintech landscape and makes the best example of how to unlock its full potential! Not only that 5 out of 10 top rated fintech companies are Chinese, but also China is seen as the global leader in fintech Venture Capital activities. Between 2014 and 2017 venture capital investments in Chinese fintech recorded a compound annual growth rate of 300%. To date, the Chinese fintech ecosystem covers a variety of different innovations stretching from the area of payments solutions such as mobile payment and direct debit bank transfer systems over financing like crowdfunding and lending to online saving and investment platforms. In 2018, Chinese central bank releases fintech development plan for 2019 – 2021.

Company data compiled by Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research
Company data compiled by Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research

Let’s have a look at China’s leading fintech Unicorns:

Yu’E Bao (Alibaba group)

Only 4 years after its creation Alibaba's Yu'E Bao became the world's largest money market fund with a total of$165.6bn under management. The rapid growth of Yu’E Bao emphasizes the pervasive role China’s tech groups play in people’s lives and in disrupting state-controlled industries such as finance. Find out more about Yu’E Bao’s way to become the largest money market fund.

Tongdun

Tongdun Technology, based in Hangzhou, provides third-party intelligent risk management and decisionmaking solutions. By integrating AI into different business scenarios, the company is able to offer services such as intelligent risk management, user analysis, fraud protection and operations. At present, the company offers its services to over 10.000 corporate clients. In 2017, Tongdun Technology was awarded "Best Cloud-based Application" of the year. Find out more about Tongdun Technology on their website.

Lufax

Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange which is also known as Lufax, is an online Internet finance marketplace. Lufax was set up by one of the largest insurance groups in China - Ping An. By leveraging latest Technology such as Big Data, AI and Blockchain, Lufax grew into China’s largest internet finance company in just a few years. Right now, Lufax strives to move its entire peer-to-peer lending portfolio onto Blockchain. Click here for further information.

The office of Lufax.com is seen in Shanghai on May 1, 2014. [Photo/VCG]
The office of Lufax.com is seen in Shanghai on May 1, 2014. [Photo/VCG]

Tiger Broker

Tiger Broker is a Beijing-based online stock brokerage company, which is backed by Wall street billionaire Jim Rogers. It is one of the first fintech companies that enables Chinese investors to trade foreign stocks. By offering all-in-one app, Tiger Broker lets Chinese investors trade US, Hong Kong equities and Chinese A shares. After its Series C round of funding in August 2018, Tiger Brokers successfully became a unicorn.

Fintech in China and the West: different stages of fintech maturity

If you want to explain the fintech revolution in China and compare it to the western countries you must of course take into account that all the different countries represent very different political, legal and cultural frameworks. The environment resulting from these factors in China established the perfect framework for Chinese domination in the field of AI. Furthermore, another key factor was the heavily investment from all of the BATs (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) in AI. Though China’s fintech success derives not just from a technological advantage and unprecedented innovation, but also from integrating finance and real-life needs. China has historically been underserved by the traditional banking sector and this is reflected in different fintech models. Fintech is a driving force initiated by “fintech startups” and now being driven by consumers. Consumer expectations and behavior will decide in the end. Will German consumers also have the need to use fintech service? The future will reveal it to us.

About us

Dr. Mei Wang is the Global Program Lead – China Bridge at Accenture Ventures and the China Digital Innovation Lead at dgroup.

China Bridge is a new global program implemented and promoted by Accenture Ventures. With presence in 15 global regions and over 200 partnerships with top startups, Accenture Ventures is identifying the next wave of technology partners to deliver the most innovative solutions to Accenture’s Global 2000 clients.

As an innovation and exchange program China Bridge helps clients of Accenture to unlock growth opportunities by bringing them together with best-in-class Chinese digital players and to co-create responsible technologies for the future.

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